Friday, October 3, 2014


                                             GOOD TO ME, by Audrey Assad

                                                     I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise
And I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I'm bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me 

I lift up my eyes to the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night - raise my head up to hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me 

Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I will trust in Your promise

This is my anthem during this pregnancy...this beautiful, melodious song by one of my favorites, Audrey Assad.  Every perfect word in this song is the prayer of my I cling on to hope and joy and peace!  Song of Solomon 2:15 talks about little foxes that spoil the vineyards and I love what this picture portrays. There are many foxes that try to steal my joy: fear, physical discomfort, and past experiences are just a few.  No matter the circumstance, you can find joy right where you are.  God wants us to have joy to the fullest (John 15:11).  I love this quote by Ann Voskamp: "Joy is a function of gratitude and gratitude is a function of perspective.  If you can change the way you see, so you can choose thanks, you always choose joy." 

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you."  
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests ne made known to God." Phillippians 4:6

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms."
Psalms 95:2

So what foxes are in your vineyard trying to steal your joy?  Let these verses be an encouragement to you and this song your prayer to the Lord as you recount the many ways He has been good to you!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A sweet Grace

It was an early summer morning when I took that pregnancy test.  THE most wonderful news came to us that we are expecting a new little love!  I was a bit in shock, since we had been trying for over a year...nevertheless, the sweetest surprise!  I told Teo immediately...I can't keep stuff like this in!  He was overjoyed and just beaming at the news, asking "Really?" and staring at that test!  The kids were equally elated when we told them later that day!  They immediately started asking questions about the big the baby was...wondering if it was a boy or girl!  I just love seeing their wonder and excitement at this new life growing inside me!

In the days proceeding, as we told family and friends, the reality set in that we are having a baby!  Everyone was so happy for us and our family and sent many encouraging words and prayers, for which I am so thankful.  A sweet friend prayed for me at church that I would be able to enjoy this pregnancy and this baby to the fullest, without if this was my very first pregnancy!  Yes, Lord, let it be so!

It didn't take long, however, for fear to set in.  I had been pregnant now 6 times, and just have Eliana and Josiah this side of heaven.  What would be the result of this pregnancy?  Would this be an early miscarriage like the last or a 2nd trimester loss like my sweet Abigail?  Would I really see this through to that oh-so-far-away due date of January 24th?  It was hard not to feel like we were doomed for the worst.  The fight was choose faith over my fear and hope over despair and trust in spite of previous experiences.  

Still, I was SO happy!

I decided I would take this one day at a time and hope for the best!  Teo, my rock, has been full of faith for the both of us when my faith wavered, encouraging me that whatever God chooses to do is for the best and we need to accept it!  Gulp!!!  Yes, I needed to surrender this whole pregnancy and this baby's life into His hands because, surely, it was out of my control.

 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?" Luke 12:25

Or to this baby's life?

Summer was busy with fun activities and keeping up with my kids!  I had a pretty good first trimester, although worst than with my previous pregnancies.  I didn't was a sign that there was still a life growing in there and things were still progressing!  I'd take all the nausea if it meant this baby was still alive!

God had answered our prayers and we found a great doctor at Kaiser who is very kind, knowledgeable, and reassuring.  He did refer me to see the perinatologists in Beaverton though...based on previous experiences with my cervix funneling and thinning with Josiah's pregnancy and then the pre-term labor I was considered high-risk.  

Now there's a term you don't wanna hear when you're trying to keep fear at bay.  "High-risk" we go again!!!

The perinatologist clinic is not a happy place for me.  The doctors there seem to only be about science and there is very little emotion or sympathy or bedside manner.  They seem robotic in their mannerisms and I have bad memories of being seen by them weekly when I was on bed rest with Josiah.  

The Lord sure took care of my heart thus far!  A song I had written played over and over in mind..."there's nothing I shall fear, for You alone are with me."  Choose faith over fear...every day...over and over!

The time came for THE BIG ultrasound...the one so long awaited!  I was nervous and excited at the same time.  Would this be a deja vu of Josiah's pregnancy where I was told I would need bed rest and am at high risk of pre-term labor due to a thin cervix?  Based on previous pregnancies, medically it would most likely be my fate.  Teo was certain and assured me that God was going to do something great here!

We walked into the ultrasound room and I got ready for the ultrasound.  The baby check was great and we have a very playful little GIRL growing in there!  Oh joy!  I knew it!  I wouldn't have minded a boy, but I just knew it was a girl for some reason!  

Then came the cervical check...and to our great surprise, my cervix measured at 4.2cm!!!
 What?  What?  What?

That doesn't seem like much, but when the average is 3.5cm and I was at 1.8 cm with Josiah by 20 weeks along, this was a MIRACLE!  I yelled out a "Praise Jesus" and was just in shock!  

How could I be in shock that God could do this or that He would do this?  Oh, I have such little faith!  How easily I forget the miracles God has done in my life!  I was starting to take my "previous experiences" as truth for this pregnancy.  I was starting to believe the medical statistics that once you have a thinning cervix you will most likely always have a thinning cervix!  Or was I afraid that I just couldn't handle another loss when God has shown me over and over that through Him and with Him I can handle the hardest of heartaches?

But my God is so much more than that!  He gave us this little girl without the use of clomid (which we had previously used to get pregnant), He protected this little girl throughout that first trimester, and now He defied medical odds by giving me a very competent cervix thus far.  It is precious to my heart how He redeems and restores even bad experiences and how He's cradling this little lady in this body of mine!

The 2nd ultrasound a couple weeks later was equally great!  Cervix measured at 4.8cm!  It did not shorten at all!  The perinatologist ended the appointment by saying, "Keep doing what you're doing for that cervix!"  To which I replied, "All I'm doing is praying...praying for a cervix of steel!"  He chuckled and walked out!  

We walked out of that room elated and relieved! 

I am overcome with joy and praise to God for this miracle!  He loves us so and is so gracious and good!  Always!!!!  Take heart, my friend, despite your circumstance, He will work everything out for your good!  He is a God of miracles!  He equips us and strengthens us with his Holy Spirit to go through anything (Eph. 3:16).  Do not let previous experience dictate what you think God can and cannot do!  He invites you to surrender your cares and worry to Him!

  "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.“ Matthew 11:28-30

Oh the grace that has been shown to us...the sweetest, surprising grace!  We can't wait to meet the newest addition to our family, little Grace!

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph. 3:20

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A letter to my Abigail

Today marks 8 years since I first met you...since I had to let you go!  That day felt like a really sad dream, yet I remember is so vividly.  Every moment...holding and just staring at your precious little body...wondering how you could be gone!  

 And who would have thought that through you I would be changed...for the better?
Who would have thought that through you, God would literally become my Healer?
Who would have thought your life would be used to minister to so many others?
Who would have thought that through your death I would know joy and hope?
Who would have thought that through your death I would cease to fear death?
Who would have thought that having you...and saying goodbye to you...would make me stronger?
Who would have thought that because of you, I would experience Jesus so intimately and love Him so  much more?
Who would have thought that God would use you in our lives to be a testimony of His healing touch and amazing strength?

God knew...He knew.  He makes beauty from ashes and heals and strengthens and restores.  He is my Father who loves me, my Healer who tends to my heart, my Comfort and Peace!  He loves you and now has you!  How I praise Him for you and for loving you so!  My Abigail, you are so missed!  We think of you often...we talk of you  often, especially Eliana & Josiah, and we yearn for that day when we can meet again and spend eternity with Him in paradise!

your mama

If you'd like to read about Abigail's story, here is the link:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Celebrate Life

I am always learning something new about myself and realizing I've had a lot of fears most of my life!  I thought I let go of a lot of fears when we went on a short mission trip to Africa a couple years ago...and I did...but there is so much more that creeps in!

This is what I'm dealing with now...what I've been avoiding having to answer to people and to God...just wanting to avoid the topic all together!  I've been faced with the question of "are you guys gonna have more kids?" a lot lately.  I have been to baby showers and newborn visits the past few months...all the preciousness of God given to us as gifts to take care of for a while!  And with each encounter with a baby, I'm reminded of the supernatural miracle of life...created by the Creator...fashioned in the womb...God-breathed life!  It's astounding really...and I'll never stop being in awe of it all!

So how do I answer that question when I've had heartache...when I've buried a child...when I've told my children their sister or brother has gone to be with the Lord?  Oh how I long for another baby...if only it were that easy!  My thought process at times leads me to a pity it's dooms-day for every pregnancy from now on will end in miscarriage!  Fear creeps in...and I make excuses!  How much heartache can I really take?

And then a moment of clarity as God reminds me this is the enemy trying to steal the joy of life...trying to instill fear...trying to get me down about my past trials...trying to rob me of future joys!  The truth is, I know I would be in disobedience to the Lord if we stopped trying to have more children!  The truth is, that God calls children a blessing and "blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them"!  The truth is, that my children are God's children first and I am their mother whether here, on Earth, or in heaven!  The truth is, there is no need for fear when God "works all things together for my good"!

I was greatly impacted by a sermon a few months ago from a missionary, Brad Busher, who took his family and moved in with the Iteri tribe in Papa New Guinea when their children were toddlers.  He explained the situation they were in and the physical dangers and sickness they were facing as a family living among the Iteri's...and how God was teaching them to "let go" of their children.  We must love God more than our family...more than our spouses...more than our children! Our kids are God's kids first...and He has a plan for them just as He does for us!

It was a good reminder to me to not hold on to my kids so tightly...and this is hard!  This ties in with pregnancies and my children's lives and God's plans for us and them and it's hard!  I want to live life with abandon for the Lord and I want to trust Him with my children's lives.  And if He chooses to give me more children or "take away" children, all is not lost!  THEY are not lost!  We have forever in heaven!  He chooses when one's life starts and ends...and I want to celebrate life!  It is precious and it is eternal for those who know Him! I want more children?  Yes...yes...yes!  I've always wanted many children!  I'm open to more...I can say that wholeheartedly!  I believe the Lord can do anything He wants!  He said to Sarah when she laughed in disbelief at the promise that she would conceive in her old age, "is anything too hard for the Lord?"  NO!  He can make a barren woman fruitful!  He can heal the body!  He can move mountains!  He sustains life!  Oh that I would have the faith of a mustard seed...the faith that pleases my Father!